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The British Horseracing Board (now British Horseracing Authority) undertook a 12 month review of British Jump Racing to look at its sustainability and viability. One of the report’s findings was a need to prevent a decline in the number of jump jockeys, to encourage more young people to consider a career in the saddle and to enhance the skill and experience of British born jockeys.
Pony Racing in Ireland is long established as a training ground for jockeys, with many top Irish riders plying their trade in Pony Racing before moving to Britain to turn professional. Adrian Maguire, Timmy Murphy and Ruby Walsh are just three of Ireland’s flag bearers for Irish Pony Racing. It was widely accepted that Irish jockeys were more experienced and competent than British jockeys given the experience and skills they learned Pony Racing, giving them a strong advantage over British jockeys when starting their racing careers. Now, Pony Racing has helped reverse that trend and the pool of British jockeys is stronger than it’s ever been.
In 2004 a ‘trial’ of seven Pony Races took place and from there the sport has blossomed. The first regulated Pony Race was at Newton Abbot Racecourse with The Finals at Wincanton Racecourse.
2007 saw the formal emergence of the Pony Racing Authority (PRA), the sport’s Governing Body with particular responsibility for integrity and safety. Shareholders of the PRA are the Racecourse Association, The Jockey Club, Point-to-Point Secretaries Association and the Master of Foxhounds Authority. Representatives from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and The Pony Club also sit on the PRA Board in Observer positions. The PRA is a company limited by guarantee and all money raised by the PRA is invested into Pony Racing.
PRA Regulations were initially drafted from the Rules of the Arabian Racing Organisation and since then have developed into robust regulations suitable and applicable for the sport. Regulations are reviewed and updated each year in consultation with the BHA. The basic regulations from 2004 remain unchanged. Join the PRA Please click on the box to the left to join the PRA. If you are unable to join online for any reason, please contact the PRA by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or 01584 823783